5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Six Mistakes of Reading Tarot for Yourself… And How You Can Avoid Them


Whether you’re a professional Tarot reader or a Tarot beginner, at one point or another you’re going to want to read the Tarot cards for yourself. I mean, why not? You know how to use the Tarot cards and you know the power that they hold in providing guidance and insight into many areas of your life. You might be facing a major personal issue or wanting to explore a part of yourself, so you turn to your Tarot cards to help you.

But do you know how to read for yourself in a way that is accurate and objective? Are the Tarot readings you do for yourself professional and ethical?

Reading Tarot for yourself can end up being very confusing and inaccurate, especially when you may be making some critical mistakes on how you read and interpret the Tarot cards.

Here are six common mistakes that are made when reading Tarot for yourself, and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: You do a Tarot Reading When You’re Highly Emotional

Your boyfriend just rang to break up with you and now you want to draw a few Tarot cards to see if you will get back together. You’ve just lost your job in a major restructure and you want to know when you’ll get a new one. You’ve just had a major argument with your best-friend and you want to know if you’ll ever be friends again.

In all of these situations, your emotions are running high and you’re probably very worked up about what has happened. Reading Tarot for yourself in these types of circumstances is much more likely to result in an inaccurate or misdirected reading, especially as you’re so emotionally invested.

What you want is to be able to remain objective, calm and focused during a personal Tarot reading, so if something has just happened and you are still feeling very emotional about it, either wait until the initial reaction passes or consult an objective third party such as a professional Tarot reader.

Mistake #2: You Keep Drawing Extra Tarot Cards as ‘Clarifiers’

Sometimes, it makes sense to draw an extra Tarot card in a reading to clarify a particular card. For example, you draw the Two of Swords, which is about making a decision between two options, so you draw another two cards to understand what those options are. That’s fine – it makes sense and it helps the cause.

But sometimes you draw a clarifying card, and then another, and another until you finally see something you like. What happens is that you end up with so many different Tarot cards and different messages that you become confused and unclear about what the cards are actually trying to tell you. Or, you end up dissatisfied with the cards drawn because they don’t tell you what you want to hear.

So, when reading Tarot for yourself, commit to drawing clarifying cards only when you really need to or when it makes sense. And even then, only draw one or two extra cards.

Mistake #3: You Do Multiple Tarot Readings on the Same Topic

One of the biggest mistakes I see other Tarot enthusiasts make is that they read over and over again on the same topic. “First I did a Celtic Cross to see if we’d get back together, and then I did a Past/Present/Future Tarot spread, and then I did another Celtic Cross just to make sure. Then the next day, I did a Horseshoe spread plus my daily love card…” and so on. No wonder people end up so confused about what the Tarot cards are trying to tell them!

Whenever any of my clients request a Tarot reading on the same topic within a short period of time, I strongly recommend that they do not go ahead with it. Instead, I suggest they come back in a month or wait until something changes.

It is the same with reading Tarot for yourself. Make a commitment now to read once and once only on your particular topic. Take note of the Tarot reading then put it away and come back to it later. Wait for at least a month before reading on the same topic, or at least until something significant changes.

Mistake #4: You Research Multiple Tarot Card Meanings for the One You Want

Unfortunately, there is not just one meaning for each Tarot card. If there were, you could get a computer to do your readings for you. Instead, there are multiple aspects to each of the Tarot cards, which is what makes them so rich and complex.

However, the trouble is that it also opens up the possibility of researching lots of different Tarot card meanings until you find the meaning that you want. When reading for yourself, you might ignore the most common meanings for a Tarot card, but you hone into just one sentence or one angle that gives the message you want.

Resist the temptation to go trawling for a Tarot card meaning that fits your hopes and desires. Instead, go with your gut. What does your gut tell you about what this Tarot card and Tarot reading mean? What is your initial reaction? Note it down and then move on. Don’t get stuck on trying to find the perfect, most convenient meaning.

Mistake #5: You Use a Complicated Tarot Spread

celtic-cross-online-tarot-readingYou want to know whether or not you should go to the wedding, so you turn to the Tarot spread that is the most popular – the Celtic Cross. But suddenly you’re finding out about what happened in the past, what other people think about the situation, what you’re hoping for, what your underlying fears are, etc. All you really wanted to know was whether or not you should go!

I don’t know why, but so often, the Celtic Cross is taught as one of the first Tarot spreads to use. Yet this spread is highly complex and often inappropriate for the question in mind.

Go back to basics! A one-card Tarot reading is amazingly powerful, particularly if you truly meditate on that card and go deep into its meaning and significance. And for many questions, you simply need only a few Tarot cards and you will have your answer. So avoid using long and complicated readings which only open up the path for more confusion and convoluted interpretation.

Mistake #6: You Interpret Your Tarot Reading the Way You Want

The hardest thing about reading Tarot for yourself is that you can end up with a ‘convenient’ but highly subjective interpretation of the Tarot cards. When you are already emotionally invested in a situation, you will have your own perspectives and beliefs that will shape your interpretation of the Tarot cards a certain way. In fact, it can be very hard to remain objective and professional about your own Tarot reading, particularly when you have such a vested interest.

There’s nothing wrong with interpreting your own Tarot cards, but you may want to also seek the opinion of an objective third party. To get a second opinion, post your Tarot reading on a forum like Aeclectic Tarot or Tarot Circle, ask a Tarot friend or colleague, or engage a professional Tarot reader to help interpret your Tarot reading.

Reading Tarot for yourself can be incredibly powerful and insightful, if you do it correctly. By avoiding these six mistakes, you will be well on your way to creating accurate Tarot readings for yourself.

What mistakes have you made when reading Tarot for yourself? And what do you do to avoid these mistakes? Leave your comments and ideas below in the comments section.

P.S. Want to Read Tarot for Yourself with Clarity?

One of the hardest things about reading Tarot for yourself is keeping an open and clear mind and staying objective. We find ourselves hearing only what we want to hear, not what we need to hear.

Yet if we deny ourselves the pleasure of reading for ourselves, we deny ourselves the opportunity for soulful introspection, personal development, self-understanding and an intensely personal relationship with the Tarot.

Tarot Masterclass: Reading Tarot for Yourself with Clarity

Reading-tarot-for-yourself-masterclassIn this 90-minute Masterclass, I’ll show you how to read Tarot for yourself with confidence and clarity so that you can use this powerful tool for personal transformation.

>> Click here to continue…

Share this Post:


You'll love my FREE ebook
5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Sign up for my free tutorials + my weekly newsletter






  • Courtney Weber says:

    BRILLIANT!!!!! Absolutely brilliant. Thank you, Biddy!!!!

  • Catherine says:

    Great article! And I too always questioned why the Celtic Cross was the first spread taught. It never sat right with me….3-9 card spreads always work for me.
    Although I had to laugh because I am definitely guilty of doing every single one of these things!!
    I must ask the same questions about 20x’s….especially when it’s related to an emotional issue.
    I do find that I will get a few of the same cards over and over again though if I keep asking the same question….and sometimes it’s really freaky how many times the same card will pop out of the deck when asking the same question.

    My question though…. when you ask a question and do a reading for yourself, and then ask the same question over and over again, is it best to just stick with the FIRST reading that you did on the matter? I know we shouldn’t ask the question again and again at all, but hypothetically speaking.

  • Hilary Parry says:

    I am sharing this with my clients… it’s great information for both them AND me! I’m notorious for “just one more clarifying card….” It’s never just one more. Clarifying cards are like potato chips… you can’t have just one! 🙂

  • Anthony Louis says:

    Nice article and very informative. I think we all have made these mistakes at some point in our work with the tarot. The only thing I would add is to record the initial reading and come back to it at a later time. By then, the reading will have had time to percolate in your unconscious and it may make a lot more sense.

  • Louise says:

    HI Biddy,

    Very interesting article here, and it raises a number of really important and fascinating areas for thought and discussion amongst tarot enthusiasts. Personally I cannot fathom the old (and I think outdated) idea that you can’t do readings for yourself. In my personal life, as as part of my spiritual development, I have used the tarot for myself with phenomenal power, and would highly recommend it as a personal tool for self-discovery, as long as your prepared to be ruthlessly honest with yourself – and I think this is the catch that you have highlighted in your article.

    In the early years of self-reading I would do many of the things you mentioned, like ignore the first reading because I didn’t like it or understand it, and then read again, or ask for clarifying cards, or blatantly ignore the answer I was getting. I laugh about it now! Perhaps it’s part of the journey in the early days – because really it all boils down to learning to deeply respect the cards and to treat them with great reverence. But it takes years to fully comprehend what a POWERFUL TOOL for self-discovery you hold in your hands when you know how to read the cards for yourself. Nowadays I understand that THE CARDS THEMSELVES are wise and powerful mentors, and a good reading learns how to trust them completely. One of the best approaches a beginner can cultivate it the ability to stop and pay close attention to what they are trying to say, to search deeper for understanding with the one reading. It’s about trust, and developing a relationship of deep reverence and respect for your cards. Nowadays (20 years into my tarot journey) I consider them my spiritual council, and I go to them with all my deep, pressing concerns in absolute trust and reverence.

    I totally agree with your article when you recommend committing to reading ONCE and ONCE ONLY on a given topic. This is really good advice. I also agree that the Celtic Cross is a complex spread and should only really be used for special occasions. I do a year-long Celtic Cross at the beginning of the year, but would rarely do another. My favorite is the two-card spread, developed by Thomson, Mueller, and Echols in the book The Heart of the Tarot ( think it’s out of print now, unfortunately, it’s a great book) which has a Situation card and a Challenge card crossing it. This is a fantastic spread for everyday questions!

    But I would question the first mistake you’ve listed, not to read when you’re highly emotional, as I have always found my most powerful readings are pulled when I am highly emotional. I feel that the intensity of the emotion draws a powerful and immediate response from the cards, and these readings are usually very potent and to the point for me. I often go to the cards in these moments because they help bring the kind of clarity that helps me move through the emotion. I guess it depends on the person, and on your experience with the cards. But I wouldn’t shy away from exploring this.

    I think we are all prone to these mistakes in the early years, but if we keep exploring the cards as a tool for personal discovery, then we can begin to move through them and toward a profound relationship with the cards. It’s like having at your disposal a really REALLY wise, all-seeing, super smart Grandmother you can turn to with your deepest fears, most pressing concerns, and most unfathomable questions. And they will always answer you truthfully, if you’re prepared to believe. IT is my understanding that spiritual tools like the Tarot often boil down to faith in the end. The more faith you have in them, the more powerfully they work.

    Great article Biddy. And thanks for letting us share our thoughts and ideas.

    • Louise, excellent thoughts and ideas – thanks so much for sharing. I can certainly understand your perspective about reading when you ARE emotional and the potential power of this. I’m not sure it works for everyone, but I can certainly see how it would work for those with an already strong connection to their emotional side.

      • angela says:

        no agree with biddy you dont want to do this when your emotional it can really upset you if the cards you get are not what you want its probably a good idea to step away from them for a while , besides either way what you pull out will give you a answer, just better to do it when ur clear minded…

  • Dr Chris Earnshaw says:

    Very true. Many people misunderstand the Celtic Cross because they approach in incorrectly. The best way is to see it as a series of three-card spreads, it is difficult to explain here as it depends on the order in which the cards are set down. But for a simple example “Present-Future-Outcome” instead of interpreting each card separately. So, to read for yourself, the starting place would be a quick three-card reading e.g. “Present-Future-Person influential in the future”, if the outcome is troublesome, then look in depth using the Celtic Cross or similar “in-depth” layout.

    • Chris, what a great way to view the Celtic Cross – as a series of 3 card spreads. I have never thought of it that way, but it definitely makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amit says:

    Hi, Biddy!!!
    Another fantastic post from your end which is very informative, though I partially agree with LOUISE wgen he says to pull the cards when you have strong emotions “your question energies are at it’s peak for the cards to catch and you pull the suggestions for that moment,but I agree with you completely coz interpreting it during the disturbed mind can give out vague or ambiguous meanings, and like humans akways wanting and hoping things to go our way we conclude the meaning that we want to hear and see. So if we get bad cards , it is obvious we pull clarifiers like potato chips or prform different spreads like a card game,which makes things more difficult. I feel a method that is a balance between both can work,
    well. When youh major issue and need an answer instantl
    y,you must calm yourself in a good silent zone with a 10-20 minute of silence (meditation mode) to relax your senses. Say to yourself that you will look at the cards the way they give out the meaning in the first look. Aftwr that record the cards as a journal entryfor future insight.Though I feel it is hardest to ibterpret for your ownself in TAROT no matter how professional you are. Celtic is what I used repeatedly to get details and few positive cards if I get any negative cards(to seek what I want) , but I think a 3 card spread or a 5 card spread may be helpful.


    soread would be good. One best spread is to select a card apt for the situationand keep it in the centre. Then select the second cards as “what is blocking you” , third card to be placed ib the left “what is b

  • Amit says:

    Hi, I apologize for my typo errors, the above post was typed from my cell phone due to which there were some errors. Deeply regretted.


  • Louise says:

    Yes, Biddy, I think that is a very good point, and it has made me ponder whether years of doing personal readings doesn’t directly contribute to the development of that “strong connection to the emotional side” ?? I think the Tarot is a great teacher here, it can guide us into connecting with our emotions and coming to understand them better, deeper, helping us to peel back the layers of the onion, so to speak. But this kind of emotionally-powered reading might be a more ‘advanced’ (I’m loathe to use this word for obvious reasons) technique – or maybe it could be called an approach better suited to experienced self-readers!

    Enjoying the comments very much ~ L

  • Aasheesh Kumar says:

    Biddy you have rightly pointed out the errors we make in self-reading,and yet we continue with the same mistakes again and again ! The bottom line is to do just a single reading and wait for some time till there is a significant change in situation. Also once the reading is done the results must be recorded to check with actual results later on.Many times we just get over with reading,and don’t remember later.

  • Amit says:

    Hi Biddy & Friends, So what are the best SPREADS for personal readings?

  • Charlie says:

    Loved this post. I often hear people say “I can’t read for myself” and I want to say “Sure you can!”

    If I look through old Tarot journals I might find five readings on the exact same topic filled with cards that screamed “this will not work” but I would find something positive “Oh look the Knight of Wands is an environmental influence – whopee!”

    This is why I love a spread with a “What should I do at this time?” position. That way if I am really set on changing a future outcome I can focus on that card (without any clarifying cards as you quite correctly point out) and decide what action to take in the present.

    When reading for myself I also used to make the mistake of spending only a second interpreting a card. “Ah yes I know what that means.” When I read for a client I spend 5 minutes exploring that card with them and a lot can come up. That’s why I write down my readings in a journal, it forces me to go beyond “Yep that makes sense.”

  • Amit says:

    Thanks Biddy.

  • Linda says:

    Good article and many valid points! I share my thoughts of reading for oneself. Repetitive questions or readings are indicative that one is asking the cards to provide the answer that you are hoping for. As a rule of thumb, if you are asking when the mind is clear and focused, the first reading will provide the guidance needed… perhaps, not necessarily the advice hoped for. Quite some time ago, during an emotional upheaval, what I did was journal one reading a week. Same day, approx. same time and worked on that reading all week. It is very helpful if you can keep the layout present and spend a little time each day with it or maybe a day or two.
    Another guideline I’ve used in reading for myself and others is the timeframe of 3 months… meaning the question gets asked only once and only again in the set timeframe if there is a significant change in circumstances. I’ve had friends ask the same question over and over and over and finally I’ve learned to say no, I will not read on that anymore.
    As for layouts, I think that the one you find resonates the most with you, is the one you work with. Serious problems require familiar. Learning a new spread is better worked with on questions that arise when things are calm and major issues aren’t in crisis mode.

  • Shelley says:

    It seems like your website is just what I needed!! I’ve learned so much!

  • Daniel says:

    when I was in my late teens and had learnt the basics of the tarot, a friend broke up with his longterm girlfriend. He was asking me to look at the situation daily, by phone or in person. I was young and naive then and should have just stopped it, it got pretty obsessive! But I think everyone sometimes asks and over and over for some type of emotional support or hope. It’s a good idea the once a month rule! The other naughty thing I do is to ask questions which could be yes/ no. trying to avoid it now! like will life get better? will this change? will this happen in future? etc etc a lot of those type of emotional supportive type questions are rhetorical anyway. things will get better, everything changes so it has too! so trying to avoid those type of readings for me personally! also don’t ignore the negative cards you don’t like! 🙂

    @Amit Celtic Cross is a pretty complex reading with a lot of cards. I know Biddy has been doing a series on it recently and there is LOADS in the ebook, but 3 card spreads can be amazing. It’s not just past / present / future it can be anything you want! mind/ body / spirit. there is loads! also you can make any reading you want, using any amount of cards you want. you could do 4 cards. Just make sure you write out first the positions of the cards and what each means. say you need to make a decision. nature of the problem, decision 1 pros, decision 1 cons, decision 2 pros, decision 2 cons. you can make it fit exactly what you want to ask with each position. just make sure you decide what each position means before you do it and don’t forget it before interpreting 🙂

  • Isobella says:

    I agree with so many of the points raised in your article Biddy, I must say that I have fallen prey to a number of them myself (as have so many others too, judging by the responses on here).

    I do agree with Linda in saying that the most powerful readings are the ones that come when you are feeling the most emotional, the need for information seems to communicate to the cards in such a way that you get an answer that is far more finite than when all is “so-so”. I have also found that I want to turn to my cards when something is upsetting, exciting or confusing and the “need to know” is just building inside me.

    It is so easy, as you said, however, to interpret the reading to mean what you want it to mean, and not what it actually means. For this reason, like others have said, I photograph or draw a sketch of my reading and detail the layout along with my interpretation of it. In time, I read over it again and again. Every time I want to revisit that question, instead of doing a separate reading, I either look at my notes, or lay the cards out again (just as they were last time) and see if they tell me something different. This avoids the whole issue of laying out a multitude of readings until you ultimately get what you want to hear, but more a continuous pondering of what the original message is. I have found that through doing this, I have become more in tune with my cards and have been able to gain a better control over my emotional responses when reading my cards.

    As far as people saying that they can’t or don’t read for themselves, I find this really confusing and odd….. If anything, I have learned to read the opposite way. Not having the confidence to read for others and fearing that I may give them the wrong information due to not actually understanding the meanings of the cards or layouts, I read almost exclusively for myself for 5 years before starting to do readings for close friends and family. While it is certainly easier to remain objective and be true to what the cards and your higher self are telling you when reading for others, it begs the question: How else do you learn if you don’t read for yourself? I built the majority of my confidence in my abilites through doing simple layouts, writing them down and referring back to them later to review. After many “Ah! now I get what that meant!” moments, I started to get a better grip on how the cards formed relationships with each other, what patterns meant etc. When reading for myself, I was not afraid to admit that I didn’t know what a card meant and was not adverse to looking up it’s meaning and writing down as much information as I could glean about that card (so that when I looked back over the reading later, I could understand which facet of meaning the card was relating to based on that current situation).

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this artical. I will continue to follow it closely as I am really enjoying the learnings and insight offered by the community of contributors who are responding to it also.

    Keep up the great work!

    Love and Light

    • Brigit says:

      Thanks for your contributions, Isobella.
      Interesting point about reading for yourself… Early on, I nearly always read for myself and found it incredibly helpful as a learning tool and a personal insight tool. Then, as I knew more and more about the Tarot cards, I stopped reading for myself. I just didn’t feel very ‘objective’ and preferred getting an outside opinion. It has only been recently where I pick up the cards every now and then and prepare a reading for myself.
      I guess it all depends on where you are in life and what you need at that point in time. Sometimes guidance comes from within, sometimes from outside.
      Thanks again for sharing! Brigit

  • mike says:

    I have only read for myself, it has been wonderful, told me just to chill when I really had no choice. It said all I wanted was there for the taking but not when. I pretty much gave up but it happened, not just what I wanted but close enough. Brigit gives good advice, read what it says without overthinking, remember tomorrow is another day.

  • jennie says:

    Hi Biddy,,,i have a question about mistake 3 and 4…
    …number 3.(multiple readings on the same topic) i do that alot,but i find it vereadingry helpfull. I start out with one spread and another spread like it, to see how many synchronicities i get, not to get a desired answer, i find it amazingly insightfull and confirming, do u think there is a problem with that? If so why? Id love to hear your thoughts and insight!! And then for mistake 4 (reading several differant interpretations to get a desired answer) yes i do that to but not to get a desired answer.. to me it dosent matter what deck you use there all the same and have the same interpretations just .stated in a differant way..sometimes i need things explained to me in a differant way for it to make sence to me, (the whole ooooohh! I get it now,thing) i would love to hear your opinion and thoughts on this as well… thanks, jennie. <3
    tated in a differant way,but sometimes

    • Brigit says:

      Hi Jennie. At the end of the day, do what feels right to you. So, if reading a number of times on the one topic or seeking out different interpretations helps to give you clarity, then go right ahead 🙂 It certainly helps if you’re in a constructive mindset.

  • alysha angel says:

    Biddy ,thank you, iv made a few of these mistakes ..

    but i never use celtic cross . always a three to six card reading

  • Sid Ban says:

    The third person remedy to a personal reading is protective against a misguided, subjective reading. I would, however, focus on the third person’s perspective and ask him/her why he/she reads the cards differently. This may create an opportunity for you to test out whether that person is psychically gifted rather than merely skillful in interpretative tarot. That distinction may help one to determine in the future how one would use the third person advisor.

    In other words, one searches for accuracy and that means you create the time and patience to see how things unfold. So, the first time one uses a third person advisor, one should not hope for the solution to one’s problem but a way to gain a way that someone could elevate your understanding to gain accuracy! You will soon understand if you have a psychic buddy or simply someone who is trying to be helpful but is not in tune with yourself

  • MandMaud says:

    I think I intuitively knew that reading and re-reading and re-re-reading is no good… and when I get an answer, I’m not tempted to ask the same question again. When I do repeat a topic, it’s because I got no answer the first time. Sometimes that happens, nothing to do with being biased or wishful thinking, interpreting some readings is just beyond me!

    Personally i can’t see any harm in that – especially using a different spread. What do you think?

    More often, rather than (or as well as) a different spread, I’ll ask a different question, changing ‘What should I know about…?’ to ‘If I do versus if I don’t…’ or ‘What is my real motive here?’ etc.

    • Brigit says:

      If it feels right, then do it. The good thing is that you’re conscious about not over-asking, and when you do start to feel like you may have asked one time too many, you can stop.

  • Harley says:

    I’ve always doubted wether or not I was reading the cards for myself correctly or not. For the most part I was doing the right things, but I always have a nagging dount in the back of my mind. These rules will help me, I’m sure. However, I think I need to work on my concentration and meditation before I go and do another reading for myself, or anyone else for that matter. My main point: Thank you. (:

  • Sid Ban says:

    My comment about clarifying cards read for personal reasons was not clear at all so I hope I can clarify it. What I meant was this. There are people we know who know us very well and there are people around us who seem to see us in a light that we find erroneous. So, to get a fresh perspective, have them listen to you read out your interpretation of the cards you are having difficulty in interpreting for yourself. Ask them how they would interpret the cards that you have just interpreted as not clear when you try to interpret them. What you are trying to do is find someone who is really in tune with who you really are and you feel they really know you well. Some of us will be very fortunate to find someone that has that empathetic nature to do this well. If your friend cannot help you in your quest to understand then consider him/her more as a social friend rather than a tarot (empathetic) buddy. Hope I have clarified this a bit

  • Liz says:

    The biggest mistake I’ve made thus far while reading for myself (after mapping my daughter’s tarot life profile chart, then wanting to get confirmation on accuracy) was first doing a 9-card Secrets of the High Priestess layout – which was fine and really all I needed to do. But *then* decided to try out for the first time my Transparent Tarot deck and also for the first time laying the Celtic Cross spread…..using *3* cards for each position! That means I used *30* cards for the Celtic Cross spread having never using either method or deck before!!! hahahaha!! I think I was hallucinating by the time I was finished….and I’m not sure if I was even able to stay focused on whether the answers were for me or her!!! Probably for me to teach me that this type of activity was not just a waist of time but would likely kill a few brain cells before it was all over with!

  • pagefarmer says:

    I wish I had already seen this because I think I have made most of the mistakes mentioned with my readings in trying to get a prospective of how things were going to turn out for me and my boyfriend after I said some hurtful things during a senseless argument that happened last week. He has not spoken to me since so maybe I already have my answer, after all. =(

  • chris says:

    Several people have mentioned the problem with objectivity when reading for
    oneself. This is a real issue, but it should not, in my opinion, be a reason
    to not read for oneself. I try to remain aware that I have a propensity to
    not be objective, adjust for it, and perform frequent readings for myself

    For me, tarot is a tool of meditation as well as divination. If I couldn’t
    do readings for myself and meditate on what the significance of the cards
    were visa vis my current life situation, then I wouldn’t bother with tarot
    at all. That said, I do appreciate having others read for me as well. It
    gives me perspective that I would not have otherwise.

  • kate says:

    this list made me smile because it was so accurate.

  • swede says:

    Hi, I have been learning alot from your posts, so huge thanks. One issue I have, is that I have done alot of different readings for myself about a range of issues. When I ask for insight into 2 specific areas, with very specific questions, I always always get the same cards. Yet nothing seems to change? Am I just expecting too much, or being impatient or am I getting the insight and only the insight? But if the cards are right, then they suggest that major change is imminent and that this will involve me in a large way, which in turn will impact my life. Yet nothing happens in spite of these repeated readings. They have been further validated by several medium readings (I go to a spiritualist church). I am somewhat confused! I have tried to cut through the mustard before, doing a ‘once and for all’ reading, but guess what….the same information comes through them. It isn’t just my perspective on the cards projecting onto the interpretation, it is the actual cards themselves. However many times and ways I shuffle, the same ones come up. Am I wrong to need physical evidence or should I just trust that the ‘universe is unfolding as it should’ ? Any advice welcome!!

    • Brigit says:

      Sometimes we just need to release and let go. Let the Universe flow in the way that it needs to and be patient! Ever had Temperance or Star come up? Or even Hanged Man? These are all signs to just be patient and let change happen when it needs to happen. So, yes, I would say trust the Universe 🙂

      • swede says:

        Thank you – your answer made me smile because, deep down, I know its right to be patient. Just so hard when you really want something to happen, common sense says it is against the odds, but every reading, every sense, every psychic connection leads you to believe it will happen in time. Not getting any younger is the main problem!!! lol x

  • Leona says:

    Hi Brigit
    Usually when I do the cards for myself & Im emotional, they tell me what I already know as the answer. So I do leave it for a few days till I settle down with my emotions. Then I rephrase the question.

  • angela says:

    thats so true i have been doing this myself regarding a ex, obsessing over it time and time again, had a reading done by a very well known reader she told me he will try and win you back but its probably going to be to late, 2 months later i went back to her and she was like telling me same thing his not gone, mind you i haven’t yet heard from him, so what do i do i call one up from a online service got told same thing, month later went to some psychic expo told no. haha so yeah thats really confusing once and thats it. my usual reader is fantastic generally spot on looks like though in this case maybe not lol now that ive read this articul im going to give it a break not doing me any good trying to find the answers i want….. i think the down side though is being told by two different readers his going to try and come back does not quiet let you move on does it 🙂

  • Valintina says:

    Hello, great article! Perhaps I have a mild case of OCD, lol, or are just anxious about things, but I will do the same spread over and over as a ‘clarifier’ – I find myself seeing what I want to see’ as an unconscious drive to relieve the anxiety from the problem. That is how I become non-objective. Interestingly, if the same suit or cards repeat themselves several times, I’ll view that as proof of the answer, I don’t know if that’s valid.

    • angela says:

      i get the justice card and i think six of wands when reading about an ex funny though the justice card gets me it states something about karma getting what you deserved ?? well i certainly didnt deserve to get dumped by a text over nothing lol so my question is what and who is the justice card talking about and is this card trying to tell me something else, reason why i jumped into your message was with what you just stated, getting the same card, my other question is how do you no who the card is referring too??? anyone no?? and yes vallintina no use pulling anymore cards once and thats it your not alone on this obsession over to you brigit

      • Brigit says:

        Yes, Justice is often about karma… perhaps it is coming to your ex for dumping you via text! He may even be parading around now thinking he’s the best and so victorious, but it will come back to bite him. Just wait.

    • Brigit says:

      Resist the temptation to read over and over!! (Unless, of course, you’re finding it truly helpful.) It can often lead to a lot more confusion than clarity.

      • Tara says:

        Thanks Brigit
        I’m not sure that a 3 card spread would be enough. The woman doing the reading is doing it for a paying customer – i’m guessing they would expect more of a show than 3 cards. That said, perhaps I could skim over the first cards (as I understand the first cards to be explained are normally general background stuff) and really home in on the final few cards.
        How would the cards be placed? For example would Death be placed as her future? What would the final few cards represent? Present, future, love? What about cards being reversed – does that make the meaning worse?
        Although the book is fiction I don’t want people who are interested in the Tarot to read it and think: oh, that would never happen. Or: that’s now how you interpret that card.
        I’d like to keep it as real as poss within the bounds of the plot line, of course.

        • Brigit says:

          You might be surprised! A 3-card reading can be very detailed if the reader delves into each card and looks at the relationships between the cards. I have seen it done very well by some wonderful Tarot readers. Readers can also do a reading without having fixed positions (eg Past-Present-Future). So, I would still suggest those three cards, in that order.
          Of course you might like to seek out ideas and input from other Tarot readers – it’s always good to get a balanced opinion.

  • Tara says:

    Could anyone give me a few pointers for a book I’m writing?
    I need a fictitious reading that would indicate disaster and death for a strong female character. The woman doing the reading is Cuban but living in Spain – I don’t know if that makes a difference. Perhaps different nationalities favour different spreads? If not I was thinking of going with the Celtic Cross – unless you would advise something else as more appropriate for a professional reading?
    Any help would be most appreciated and credited as such.



    • Brigit says:

      Perhaps you could go with a simple three-card reading – it will maximise the impact of the cards drawn. For a bit of ‘drama’, I would choose cards like Tower, Ten of Swords, and Death.

  • Damian says:

    I’m happy to recognize I’ve not fallen in ALL of those mistakes. However mistake number one and three are my Achilles heel. I agree that doing several readings on the same topics is not good as they can tend to reflect the fears and desires of the reader itself and lose all congruency of a level-headed reading. As a tormentor said… is weird to see the same card repeatedly pop up when doing this. However in my case (since I’m not that good of a reader) I find a reading too hard to make at a first glance.

    Another mistake I do is to heavily rely on books for meanings especially for those cards that are too hard to me such as the hanged man and many reversed cards. And reading several books for the same thing can get very confusing. I don’t do it to get a satisfying answer but to fill a void I don’t understand for the card. Sometimes my initial reactions to the card is of confusion as I can’t relate to the card in a given position at all and I do some research and find some possibilities. However doing it so much can be counterproductive especially when aligning the meaning with other cards. I often find combinations too hard to understand so I research and write my ideas. I usually interpret a reading for several days… especially for sensitive topics.

    • Brigit says:

      Hi Damian,
      My advice would be to just try 5-10 readings without the book. If you ‘forget’ a meaning, make it up. Look at the imagery and describe what you see. You may surprise yourself with how much you already know and how much your intuition will just kick in and fill in the gaps!

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Brigit,
    Everyday i do a relationship reading to get claireification on my relationship.. the same cards keep popping up but some days there reversed and others they are not, some days the cards i drew representing him pop up for me and vice versa.. is it possible that the cards could be telling me that we are going through the same things, have the same anxieties and worries etc?

    • Brigit says:

      That’s certainly possible, yes. Just be careful, though, that you’re not over-reading the situation. Unless the relationship is changing on a daily basis you could probably leave at least a few weeks in between each reading.

  • I generally read everyday like that cause im looking for synchronicities, and to see if there has been any progress... says:

    I generally read everyday like that cause im looking for synchronicities, and to see if there has been any progress…

  • Tori says:

    I’m new to reading tarots and tried to read my own cards but have the slightest clue on how to do so…someone please help I only draw 4 cards they where all swords in order 5 6 7 8 the 8 sword with the lady was upside down…some one please help me I’m confused I thought this would b easy

    • Brigit says:

      Hi Tori,
      You might find helpful for sharing your readings and getting lots of different people’s feedback.
      Thanks, Brigit

    • marina says:

      Hi Tori
      ‘someone please help I only draw 4 cards they where all swords in order 5 6 7 8 the 8 sword ‘

      Are you using a new deck of cards? Maybe you havent shuffled the deck thoroughly, before your reading and thats why your getting several swords cards stuck in a sequence.

      Its necessary when your starting to use a deck, to ‘wash’ or swirl all of the cards round and round in a pile to seperate them all properly from each other -then gather them back into a deck-give them a long and thorough shuffle-When complete, choose your spread suited to your question while shuffling specifically for that question.

  • Teresa says:

    I usually have a pull to read when I am emotional but something always seems to hold me back and then when I do the reading I come to find that the cards that I pull are exactly what I did to resolve the situation. Alot of the times I realize that I had to come to a higher understanding of what was making me so emotional and then my choices become so much clearer!

    • Brigit says:

      Great! I have actually just finished a new blog post on this topic with a special Tarot spread to help in times of emotional distress. Stay posted – you’ll see it Wednesday!

  • Mita says:

    Really helpful. We often land up nowhere while reading for ourselves. But this topic has given good tips. Thanks Brigit.

  • VSN says:

    Hello Brigit! Thank you for your very interesting post! Very useful especially for beginners as myself. Unfortunately, I believe I have already made the 1st mistake and I would really appreciate your advice on this issue.
    I recently did a type of spread (“What does he/she want from you?”, a 9-card spread) when in a highly emotional state. I wanted some insight to see if there are any chances to enter a relationship with someone I have deep feelings for. I didn’t have an argument with him, nor did find anything disturbing about him, I was just missing him and longing for some answers. Coincidence or not (since I also read your post about Tarot spreads when emotionally disturbed), all my 9 cards except one are reversed and many are from the Major Arcana. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions or (mis)interpret…yet. What should I do? Should I wait till things cool down and make the same spread again (next month or later)? Should I put the spread aside and interpret it some other time?

    Thank you!


    • Brigit says:

      Hi Val,

      Personally, I would say wait until things cool down, especially with so many cards reversed. You’re not seeing all the lessons that are being shown to you because you’re in the heat of the moment. That said, write down the reading and keep it somewhere. When you do the reading for real, come back and see if there are any similarities.


  • Aquaequs says:

    Thank you for this – I have become obsessive compulsive reading my cards around an emotional subject relevant to me. My intuition is all over the place as I am so highly charged!! I just hope I am not sending fears to the Universe!

    I probably need to stop and get a professional reading… but alas I cant help it!

    Thank you so much for all the comments…. hopefully I will look back and laugh!

  • katerin says:

    This post is very helpful i just had my 1st tarot card yesterday and i made a reading for myself using the daily inspiration spread. I was about to have a second reading to clarify about a recent broke up that i experience, since i read this one i’ll stick to my 1st reading. Thanks biddy 🙂

  • JRo says:

    Hi Brigit,
    With regards to emotional reading, I 100% agree!.. I’m was having an emotional week and so I resisted the urge to draw cards for myself (i am just learning).. but I did consult a professional. The reading came back to me as emotionally as I was feeling (all fire and brimstone so to speak- although she was very calm about conveying the messages) … Do you think that even the professional was drawing cards that were directly a result of this stress I am under and that intuitively she was picking up on my drama and the the possible outcome of my situation?
    How do you know when you are ready for a reading in this situation? Often it is the time when we are stressed that we look for answers… (I’m so good at calm when its not about me)

    • Brigit says:

      Absolutely – your reader was no doubt picking up on your emotional energies. Sometimes it can be helpful to read when you’re feeling like this, particularly if it offers clarity. But if you’re not ready to accept the messages constructively, it may be better to wait until you feel less raw emotions around it.

  • Jen says:

    Just a suggestion, if you feel you *must* read for yourself when you are in an emotional state, simply shuffle and lay out your spread as usual, but rather than interpreting each card individually, look at the whole picture and note your intuitive reaction. Record it, then, if you want to, record the layout and save it until you are feeling calmer before returning to decipher deeper meaning.

  • Laura says:

    Hi, i went for my first tarot reading yesterday. It was mostly to do with a bad break up for which i never got any explanation. The lady asked if my ex had a new girlfriend but i said i had no idea. Later in the reading she seemed sure he did have someone else and she asked me if that girl is pregnant. Again i said i had no idea.
    My question is, could the card which indicated pregnancy actually mean something else like a new beginning and not necessarily pregnancy?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Jen says:

      Laura, fertility cards in Tarot readings frequently indicate new beginnings, creativity, and new projects, rather than a literal pregnancy. It does depend on placement and surrounding cards, but I’ve found that fertility cards rarely indicate actual pregnancy. In fact, in 13 years, I have only seen pregnancy for a person I read for 2 times, and one of those times it wasn’t even a “fertility” card that showed it. (I should also state that these two times were my sisters-in-law, not people with whom I had little or no previous contact.)

  • Gillian says:

    Hi Biddy, your first comment on reading your tarot when you are feeling emotionally charged is very helpful. I have recently experienced something that was very disappointing and read my cards about a week after the event. However, I read them in a rather emotional state and blimey it was like the grim reaper had come to town, I had the world, the tower, 5 wands – so I chose a clarifying card which unfortunately was the 8 of swords. Didn’t help matters at all. I will be approaching a third party in future!!

  • Allie says:

    As a beginner, I have been very excited to see all the appropriate cards coming up for the questions asked of the Tarot. However, the last one I asked about a specific person and his intentions………the cards that came up were all just about the opposite of who I know this person to be. I did not use any reverse cards, but the cards that came up would fit if they had been reversed. I’m confused about this outcome and a little discouraged after such a positive beginning. Do you have any advise? Thanks.

    • Jen says:

      How were you interpreting the cards? Were you using book-meanings, or intuition? This can have a huge impact on how the reading turns out.

      There are also a couple different reasons your reading came out this way. First, using straight book meanings can miss finer details of imagery that intuition can pick up on. Second, there may be some deception going on here, whether intentionally or not; I’d suggest that you stay on alert to the possibility that all is not as it seems. And third, it may simply be that you are not meant to know the answer just now, or that there is too much riding on decisions yet to be made for you to get a clear reading. You might want to give it some time, and try again.

      Best of luck to you!


    • Brigit says:

      You do need to be careful about asking about someone else’s intentions. This is their private information and sometimes the Tarot may throw a curve ball because you’re asking about someone’s private life. You could ask about what you need to know about the person’s intentions or how it affects you, instead.

  • Mehak says:

    Brilliant article!Surely, all of us have made these mistakes at one point or the other. Next time I read for myself, I’m going to keep this checklist in front of me 🙂

  • Luceta Hope says:

    You are so right about the readings I heard a lot of readers say that they did readings over and over again and now I see that is the reason I my self had readings done over a hundred times over and over again in the space of 5 months o my God YOUR ADVICE helped me a lot thank you now I know I am not a tarot card reader but I worry a lot suffer from depression and this was my out let but now through your advice I saw where I was going wrong I THANK YOU WITH MY WHOLE HEART THANKS A MILLION AND MORE now I see why I am so confused almost all of them would say the same thing but some how I would have a doubt am not a reader but I see where my mistakes lie and now I will work on them through your advice.

    Yours Respectfully,
    Luceta Hope.

    Yours respectfully

Leave a Reply